When a customer enters a brick-and-mortar store, it’s only polite to offer a greeting and ask if you can provide any assistance – and then to follow up with helpful sales advice if you’re asked. However, when the same customer approaches an ecommerce site, he or she is nowhere near as likely to experience the same level of personal attention.
Personalization isn’t just about showing product recommendations based on browsing history or welcoming back a returner; it’s about creating an enjoyable shopping experience that will inspire consumers to come back again and again, and unfortunately, that’s one element many ecommerce websites lack.
Based on user reviews from all over the web, one of the most important things for customers is a friendly, near-human experience on the web, and if you want your consumers to rate your company as a top, user-friendly website, consider the following tips.
1. Get an App
If you want to show excellent customer service, you need to speak their language. And today that language is translated more and more often through smartphone apps. Developing an app for your business allows your customers access to your website at any time. The best apps will include coupons, daily deal announcements, interactive features (such as photo tagging and comparison), and easy purchase interfaces.
2. Use Search History Wisely
As mentioned above, it’s not enough to simply show product recommendations based on previous searches. You need to make those product recommendations speak to the user. For example, a bakery’s website will remember your favorite kind of sweet roll based on your recipe searches and show you a mouthwatering picture of that roll on a warm background that reminds you of home. Making your product recommendations feel natural and familiar is an excellent way to use browsing data to promote customer sentiment.
3. Make the Website Appealing
Your website needs to speak directly to your audience based on the types of products you sell and those who are most likely to purchase them. For example, if you are a website selling washers, the colors should be engaging and the style reminiscent of hard work and mechanics. It should be purposefully directed at those who are most likely to buy the products. Keep the website appealing and on point by remembering the audience.
4. Have a Voice
Maybe your business has a face through a well-designed logo or a photo of the CEO of your company, but it also needs a voice. Use social media to send messages your customers can relate to. Send enticing emails to invite your customers to return for other products you think they’ll like based on past purchases. Also, send a genuine thank you after a purchase by offering a free item or 10 percent off the next purchase. Consumers respond very well to companies that keep up with the voice of their company.
5. Send Useful Content
Though advertisement emails are great for brand identification and notification of sales, your customers will also respond to useful content. For example, if you have a landscaping company, send a monthly newsletter with a few of your specials on it and 10 tips for prepping your yard for spring.
6. Personalized Profiles Options
Human beings are genetically predisposed to things that feel familiar to them, and what’s more familiar than personalization? Let your customers create personalized profiles or accounts with their name and avatar (if appropriate for your business audience), and greet them with a hello and their name every time they log in.
7. Make Consumer-Company Interaction Easy
The more contact information you provide, the more satisfied your customers will be. That way, they can contact you according to their preferences. This includes phone numbers, email, social media platforms, and posting on the business blog. According to this infographic, live chat has the highest satisfaction rating by far with 73 percent satisfied with chat and just 61 percent satisfied with email. This perhaps explains why more and more ecommerce websites have a pop-up chat window at the beginning of every visit.
Endearing customers to your website is perhaps one of the largest challenges you’ll face in the ecommerce business, but if you’re willing to put in the time, effort, and capital to make it happen, it can reap some of the largest rewards.